Broker chief executive ‘wouldn’t use’ Covid-19 ‘as an excuse in my business’ for delayed communications

Brokers are continuing to lean on the flourishing MGA market, supporting the growth of these businesses, because they are still struggling to get prompt decision-making and communications from composite insurers post-pandemic, according to Brendan McManus, chief executive of broking firm PIB Group.

Brendan McManus - PIB_MG_1911_1275 V1

Brendan McManus

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, McManus identified “the lack of response from some of the composite insurance companies” contributing to the growth of “flexible” and “agile” MGAs as one of the key themes he is seeing within the UKGI market this year.

Despite acknowledging that “the larger composites do a good job”, McManus explained that decisions from insurers are still “slow”, even though hybrid working has become more normalised over the last 18 months.

He called this pace of change “frustrating”.

McManus continued: “The larger composites do a good job and we’ve got great relationships with them, but decisions are slow and we’re operating in two different speeds.

“Insurance broking is pretty agile, pretty fast to respond to our clients. The insurers generally are a little bit slower than that and that gap can be quite frustrating.”

Not an excuse

McManus added that, in his experience, some insurance firms are citing Covid-19 as a reason why decision-making has slowed or communications are infrequent.

In his mind, however, the pandemic “shouldn’t be an excuse” for this quality of service – especially bearing in mind the commercial ramifications for brokers arising from delayed insurer responses.

For example, if a broker cannot answer its clients’ queries in a timely manner, they are likely to switch to a broker that can source answers faster.

McManus said: “We’ve found it frustrating sometimes trying to get hold of people – Covid is often an excuse, which it shouldn’t be an excuse.

“If people are working at home, then surely they’ve got more time to take a call or to reply to an email or whatever. I might be being too harsh there, but it has been a bit frustrating and I think a lot of brokers have found that it’s been harder to get hold of people and harder to get decisions.

“I understand the difficulty if you’ve got large groups of people who aren’t in the office – then maybe corralling them into decisions is harder. But I wouldn’t use that as an excuse in my business.

“If a client calls and they’ve got a problem, you’ve got to solve the problem. The response at the helm has to be just as sharp as it ever was.”